DR Congo

Kabila arrives in Lubumbashi

Format
News and Press Release
Source
Posted
Originally published
DATE=4/14/97
TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT
NUMBER=2-212865
TITLE=KABILA / LUBUMBASHI (S)
BYLINE=JOHN PITMAN
DATELINE=LUBUMBASHI
CONTENT=
VOICED AT:
INTRO: ZAIRIAN REBEL LEADER LAURENT KABILA HAS ARRIVED IN THE SOUTHERN CITY OF LUBUMBASHI, FIVE DAYS AFTER THE CITY'S CAPTURE BY REBEL TROOPS. V-O-A'S JOHN PITMAN REPORTS MR. KABILA WAS MET BY THOUSANDS OF CHEERING RESIDENTS.

TEXT: CHURCH BELLS AT THE CITY'S CATHOLIC CATHEDRAL RANG AS THOUSANDS OF RESIDENTS CROWDED THE ROADSIDE TO WATCH MR. KABILA'S MOTORCADE SPEED IN FROM THE AIRPORT.

THE REBEL LEADER ARRIVED VIRTUALLY UNANNOUNCED ON A PRIVATE JET. HIS CAR WAS ACCOMPANIED BY FIVE TRUCKLOADS OF HEAVILY ARMED SOLDIERS. HE DID NOT SPEAK TO ANYONE AND WENT STRAIGHT TO A
COMPOUND ONCE OWNED BY PRESIDENT MOBUTU SESE SEKO.

MR. KABILA'S VISIT COMES HOURS AFTER REBEL OFFICIALS ANNOUNCED THAT LOCAL ELECTIONS WOULD BE POSTPONED BECAUSE OF CONCERNS ABOUT POLITICAL INSTABILITY IN THE REGION.

THE ANNOUNCEMENT SPARKED SEVERAL SMALL DEMONSTRATIONS IN TOWN LED BY SUPPORTERS OF THE FORMER GOVERNOR, WHO WAS REPLACED FRIDAY BY A HIGH-RANKING REBEL OFFICIAL. STILL, THE THOUSAND OF RESIDENTS WHO CAME OUT TO WITNESS MR. KABILA'S ARRIVAL DID NOT SEEM TO
HOLD THE (ELECTION) DELAY AGAINST HIM.

//ACT OF ZAIREAN//

I LOVE KABILA, I WANT TO SEE HIM NOW. IF I SEE KABILA, I WILL BE FEELING REAL GLAD.

//END ACT//

IT IS UNCLEAR HOW BIG A PROBLEM THE ELECTION DELAY WILL BE FOR MR. KABILA. SUPPORTERS OF THE FORMER GOVERNOR SAY THEY WILL PARALYZE THE CITY WITH STRIKES IF ELECTIONS ARE NOT HELD WITHIN
48 HOURS. (SIGNED)

NEB/JP/T-BP/RRM

14-Apr-97 2:21 PM EDT (1821 UTC)